If you’re not sure what these things do, their purpose is to help you find stuff you lose. The idea is this: Attach it to something, synch it to an app on your phone and never lose that stuff again. If you do lose it, mark it as “lost” in the app, and every other phone in the world that has the tracking app will keep an eye out for your stuff using .
Sounds good in theory – but that means you better pick the device that is more popular if you want the best chance of ever finding your computer. There are several manufacturers that offer these types of products, but as of today, these appear to be the most popular. And again, the more users the better. This concept also assumes that the thief didn’t find the tracker and throw it into a taxi or garbage truck. This is a recipe for a wild goose chase if you ask me. But hey, you could always just pretend like you’re playing Pokemon Go!
Don’t get me wrong, I think these things are very useful, but not the perfect device that finds all your stuff as the ads would make it seem.
These are great for keys, briefcases, backpacks and other stuff you may misplace or forget. If nothing else, it will tell you where your phone was last near your keys. Which could be handy when traveling.
There is a big size difference. The Tracker is smaller coming in at 4 credit cards thick, and would more likely end up on my keychain. The Tile is bigger in size and thickness, coming in at just a hair over 6 credit cards thick. For a backpack, this would be fine. But I got to give the win to the TrackR Bravo on this one.
The main feature for both items is the audible alert. Click the “find” feature in the app, and the device chirps or sings to let you know where it is. Now this feature is key. If you can’t hear it, you can’t find it.
So, to be overly geeked out and techie tech – I decided to let a decibel meter decide which was better.
I started with both units logo side up. To start off, the Tile was barely audible. On the low end we saw 54db and 61 on the high. When I turned Tile over, it was a much different story seeing 74db on the low end and 84 on the high end.
The TrackR was more consistent on both sides, ranging from 56db to 78db. These numbers seems pretty close. But here’s the thing about the way decibels work. Every 10 decibels is essentially 10 times louder. So on the high side, the TrackR at 78db and the Tile at 84db, that 6db is basically saying that the Tile is 6 times louder, in a weird sound measurement sort of way.. That’s not really that accurate… but… you get the point. Let’s just leave it at, the Tile is louder.
The results were consistent when I threw them into a backpack. The TrackR came in at ~ 49db and the Tile at 56db. So, 7 is close to 6 and this ain’t science. So… close enough. Tile wins on the loudness factor.
Both are compatible with iOS and Android and have a function that lets you mark the item as lost. This kicks in the Crowd GPS function that sends all the phones on the planet looking for your stuff. Well, all the phones with the app that is.
Both units provide a function to find your phone. Press and hold the little button on the TrackR, or double click the “e” on the Tile and your phone will start singing. This is pretty handy.
TrackR takes it one step further – You can connect TrackR to Alexa.
Both units offer slim – wallet friendly versions. About the width of two credit cards.
Another win for TrackR is that you can replace the battery. This slot opens up to reveal a coin size battery. No such luck with the Tile. They do offer a replacement program, but that is a bit of a pain in the ass if you ask me. This, I am sure, will be improved if they want to stay in business. I can’t see people putting up with that for too long. And since the batteries only last about a year, they better get going.